Surface pressure measurements were obtained during a three-dimensional vortex interaction with a NACA 0015 aerofoil. The upper and lower surfaces of the blade experienced different aerodynamic loads which appear to be controlled by the impact of the vortex axial core flow on the blade surface. On the upper surface of the blade, where the vortex core flow was away from the aerofoil, the interaction was characterised by the generation of a suction peak. On the lower surface, where the axial component was towards the blade, a pressure pulse developed and seemed to be influenced by the vortex approach angle. These features resulted in rapid changes in normal force and quarter chord pitching moment during the interaction. This impulsive loading of the blade may provide some explanation for sound generation and control degradation problems associated with the tail rotor of helicopters.